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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Mecklenburg County Seeks To Boost Black Residents' COVID-19 Vaccine Participation

vaccine stock pic cdc via unsplash.jpg
Mecklenburg County health officials are trying to increase the number of Black residents getting COVID-19 vaccines.

White Mecklenburg County residents 65 and older are about 65% of the senior population, but they have received nearly 71% of the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to data released Tuesday by the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

The report focused on the county’s efforts to distribute the vaccine and equity.

African Americans are 26% of the county’s population 65 and older. They have received just under 17% of the first doses given, said Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris.

“We do see some under-representation in our people of color with the amount of vaccine that they are receiving,” Harris said. “It is not what we would want it to be. We need to continue our work in these areas and we are doing what we can.”

The county also released a map showing where, by ZIP code, people have received the first dose.

Mecklenburg County
Mecklenburg County is working to get more African Americans vaccinated against COVID-19

In some areas of south Charlotte, roughly 10% of seniors have had at least one shot. In west Charlotte, which has a large Black population, it’s lower — between 3% and 5%.

Harris said the county has a COVID-19 vaccine equity plan. It aims to increase awareness and trust in the vaccines by having educational town halls and community forums. Polls have shown that more African Americans are hesitant of the new vaccines than white people.

Harris said the county also wants to have more drive-thru and walk-up appointment options.

Most of the vaccination sites have been located uptown or in low-income areas.

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